Winners Announced for U.Va. Art Museum's 2009 Writer's Eye Contest

January 05, 2010

January 5, 2010 — The University of Virginia Art Museum has selected the winners of Writer's Eye 2009.

The program challenges writers of all ages to use visual art as inspiration for the creation of original poetry and prose. Contestants submitted original writings inspired by one of 18 pieces selected for the competition from the museum's permanent collection and visiting exhibitions. After conducting tours for more than 2,900 students and adults, the museum received more than 1,100 entries in poetry and prose divisions.

Each year the first-, second- and third-place-winning entries are published in an anthology. The full-color, 64-page book will be available for purchase at the museum on March 22.

Now in its 23rd year, the program is supported by generous gifts from Edith Warner and the Daniel M. and Wilma T. Horner Foundation, the Thomas L. Piper Education Endowment, the Gramercy Park Foundation, and the University of Virginia Art Museum Volunteer Board.

Entries were judged in four age groups: grades 3-5 (elementary school), 6-8 (middle school), 9-12 (high school), and university/adult.

Sarah Collins Honenberger and John Casteen IV, well-known writers from Orange and Albemarle counties, respectively, served as this year's Distinguished Judges for the high school and university/adult categories. The elementary and middle school judges were Stephen Margulies, Geraldine Kruger, Barbara Fuhrman, Erin James, Susan Washko, Laura Parsons, Proal Heartwell, Mark Collins, Molly Minturn, Michele Kellermann, Parke Muth and Heather Burns. Judging for the competition is blind, with the authors' names removed from the work prior to delivery to the judges. The students receiving awards attend schools located in the city of Charlottesville and Albemarle and Orange counties.

Poetry division winners:

Elementary school (grades 3-5): First place, Afton Pugh (Brownsville Elementary); second place, Molly Bocock (Village School); third place (tie), Jaekwon Arnette (Venable Elementary) and Zakary Robbins (Broadus Wood Elementary).

Middle school (grades 6-8): First place, Meredith Hooper (Village School); second place, Emmy Thacker (Village School); third place, Alexander Koch (Jack Jouett Middle); honorable mention, Luke Samuel Merrick (Tandem Friends School).

High school (grades 9-12): First place, Eleanor Franzen (Charlottesville High); second place, Sonja Paviour (Charlottesville High); third place, James George Mattise (St. Anne's-Belfield); honorable mention, Logan Coleman, Melinda Ashe, Emily Hornsby and Molly Michie (all Charlottesville High).

University/adult: First place, Jesse Dukes; second place, Gillian Shay Douple; third place, Courtney Harnett; honorable mention, Susan S. Muse, Heidi Johannesen Poon, Dana Bost and Tammy Tillotson.

Prose division winners:

Elementary school (grades 3-5): First place, Nathan Vance (North Branch School); second place, Ayoade Balogun (Village School); third place, Eleanor Hawkes (North Branch School); honorable mention, Colleen Farabaugh (Baker-Butler Elementary), Julia Klein (Murray Elementary) and Laura Bendick (Brownsville Elementary).

Middle school (grades 6-8): First place, Augie Groeschel-Johnson (Buford Middle); second place, Daisy Collins (Grymes Memorial School); third place, Alejandra Medina (Walker Upper Elementary); honorable mention, Jamie Kusyk, Kellyn Kusyk, and Annette Zenker (all from Village School) and Maddie Pickens (Walton Middle).

High school (grades 9-12): First place, Luna Adler (Charlottesville High); second place, Austin Bouchard (Charlottesville High); third place, Christina Justice (Charlottesville High); honorable mention, Jack Nachmanovitch and Brodde Lamb (Charlottesville High), and Sara Widdows and Irene Lee (Albemarle High).

University/adult: First place, Sarah Grace Grimesey; second place, Cecilia Nguyen; third place, Gary Kessler; honorable mention, Charlotte Wood, Patrick Owlett and Allison McGrath.

For information regarding Writer's Eye 2009, call the University of Virginia Art Museum Education Department at 434-243-2050.

— By Jane Ford